Beyond performance-based budgeting policy in Iran’s public universities: Causes, outcomes, and strategies

  • Zargham Faramarzi Nia Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran
  • Hamid Farhadi Rad Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran
  • Yadollah Mehralizadeh Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran
  • Rahmatullah Gholipour Soteh University of Tehran, Iran
Keywords: university, higher education, performance-based budgeting, performance indexes, performance management


The main aim of the present study was to analyze the causes, outcomes, and strategies of performance-based budgeting in the Iranian higher education system. To this end, a qualitative approach based on the grounded theory was used. In order to collect reliable data, in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with two groups of experts who were selected by purposive sampling method based on the selection of desirable cases. After qualitative content analysis of the collected information via encoding, the detailed report preparation method and comparison with expert opinions were taken into account to validate the findings. At a significance level of 0.0001, the kappa measure of agreement was 0.786. The results showed that finding a suitable mechanism to ensure accountability and transparency in universities was the main focus of performance-based budgeting approach, and its implementation was affected by various factors at the macro level (government) and micro level (university). Positive outcomes of this budgeting model include improved accountability and transparency, project- oriented nature of the model, and improved efficiency and effectiveness. Besides, threat to the nature and independence of the university was possibly a negative consequence of this plan. To use the benefits simultaneously and avoid the negative consequences, various strategies were proposed, including the expansion of the authority, independence, and freedom of the university and the involvement of the university’s senior managers.

Received: 10 March 2022
Accepted: 15 August 2022


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Author Biographies

Zargham Faramarzi Nia, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran

PhD degree in Educational Administration, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran. Zargham Faramarzi Nia was born in January 1986. In 2006, he entered the teacher training of Ayatollah Vahid Behbahani in Behbahan. In 2008, he started the first year of primary school teaching in the villages of Dehdez. At the same time and in 2011 he received a bachelor’s degree in English teaching from Izeh University. In 2013, he entered the master’s degree program in educational management of Shahid Chamran University, and in July 2015, with a dissertation entitled “Study of the possibility of implementing an entrepreneurial university from the perspective of managers and faculty members at Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz” with the guidance of Dr. Hamid Farhadi Rad and Advice of Dr. Yadollah Mehralizadeh, with a score of 19.86 and an overall grade point average of 18.81, he became a member of the University Talent Office. In 2016, he was re-admitted to Shahid Chamran University for a doctorate in educational management. In 2018, he took the opportunity to study at the Faculty of Management, University of Tehran. In November 2021, He defended His dissertation entitled “Designing a Performance- Based University Model in Iranian Public Universities” with the guidance of Dr. Hamid Farhadi Rad, the advice of Dr. Yadollah Mehralizadeh and Dr. Rahmatullah Gholipour Soteh with a score of 19.80 and an overall grade point average of 18.13. He is interested in higher education management, university management models, and development of university financial, and income resources, extra-organizational communication of organizations and education, and using mixed and qualitative methods.

Hamid Farhadi Rad, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran

Associate professor of Educational Administration, Faculty of Education and Psychology, at the Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran. He studied Educational Sciences in B.S at the Shahid Beheshti University of Tehran (1997), Educational Administration at the University of Tehran in M.S (1999), and Ph.D. (2011). Hamid spent a term as a visiting fellow in the International Center for Higher Education Research (INCHER) Kassel University (2009-2010). He is particularly interested in Educational Administration, Higher education and Qualitative research methods. Hamid is the head of the Quality Assurance Office at Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran, 2018-now.

Yadollah Mehralizadeh, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran

PhD, is a professor in Human Resource Development (Education and Training Planning) Faculty of Education and Psychology, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz- Iran. Mehralizadeh was qualified BA (University of Esfahan- Iran) 1988, MA (University of Esfahan-Iran) 1991, and Ph.D. (University of Bath- UK) 2000. He is Vice Deputy of Economic Affairs Coordination and Human Development of Khuzestan Province, Governor-General -Iran started in May 2017. Mehralizadeh Had a One-year sabbatical at the Calgary University- Canada-2005-2006 and, he was an outstanding Researcher in 2006 by the Iranian Ministry of Science, Research, and Technology.

Rahmatullah Gholipour Soteh, University of Tehran, Iran

PhD, is a faculty and professor of public administration at the Faculty of Management, University of Tehran. He completed his bachelor’s degree in 1992-1996 and his master’s degree in 1996-2000 at the University of Tehran in public administration. He also received his Ph.D. in Public Administration from 2000 to 2004 at Allameh Tabatabai University. His research interests are in Public Policy-Making, Governance, and Administration in the public sector. He is the director of the public administration department, has conducted numerous research projects and published many articles in the field of public administration and policy.


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How to Cite
Faramarzi Nia, Zargham, Hamid Farhadi Rad, Yadollah Mehralizadeh, and Rahmatullah Gholipour Soteh. 2022. “Beyond Performance-Based Budgeting Policy in Iran’s Public Universities: Causes, Outcomes, and Strategies”. Tuning Journal for Higher Education 10 (1), 155-87.